P4-Foundation holding All-Star weekend fundraiser at First Energy Park in July
Lace up your batting gloves and step up to the plate this July and hit some home runs to knock childhood cancer out of First Energy Park in Lakewood through the P4-Foundation.
The P4-Foundation was started in 2014 by then 14-year old Gino Vizzi of Georgia, who was diagnosed with a rare form of incurable Leukemia called chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).
Now 17-years old the high school second baseman says he wanted to become the face of this organization and help other children across the country battling cancer find strength and hope in their own battles.
Gino must undergo daily chemotherapy treatments in pill form for the rest of his life.
The P4 name came from a group of Gino's high school baseball teammates who made up bracelets in his honor with the P4 inscription...Pray Four Gino Vizzi.
Since the organization took off, they've held a number of fundraising events to help fight childhood cancer including home-run derbies and all-star games.
For the first time ever, they're bringing an All-Star Weekend to New Jersey at the home of the Lakewood Blueclaws from July 9-10.
Linda Ruth Tossetti, Babe Ruth's granddaughter, will also be there in July to sign autographs.
Gino's father Dave is the President of the Foundation and says the Home Run Derby and Ocean-Monmouth County All-Star Game also serves as a fundraiser.
"Anyone that wants to get involved can come out," said Vizzi. "It's a first come, first serve registration."
He adds that they have separate brackets set up arranged by age group going from middle school students through a 39 and older group.
However Vizzi adds that there are only 25-spots available per age group, so sign up sooner rather than later to reserve your spot.
He says the home run derby, which is open to the public to participate in and watch for $5.00, is all about clearing the bases of childhood cancer.
"Your out there playing for kids with cancer," said Vizzi. "Your out there doing it to raise money for those kids."
He adds that your strength to put the barrel to the ball and drive it gives children fighting cancer strength to make a rally of their own.
"Your out there doing things that they can't," said Vizzi. "Your giving them that fight."
In addition to raising funds that day, the most important baseball sound to be heard that day is awareness for childhood cancer.
Vizzi explains that in order to play in the Ocean-Monmouth County All-Star Game players must be nominated by their coaches soon, which is being set up with the assistance of Shore coaches and Mike McGarrell of M2-Sports.
He says it's a great honor to be apart of the All-Star game, "which their coaches get to nominate them to play in this prestigious event."
It's apart of an All-Star weekend which also features raffle prizes and fun games, with a majority of the proceeds being donated to Ocean of Love in Toms River.
At a home run derby in Atlanta, Georgia last year the P4-Foundation raised nearly $25,000.00 to fight childhood cancer.
If you don't want to play in the home run derby, Vizzi says they're also inviting Jersey Shore businesses to set up a table during the weekend.
"We highly encourage them to reach out to the foundation," said Vizzi. "They can email us at p4foundation.org."
He adds that there's no charge for businesses who sign up to put together a table that weekend.
More From WOBM: